But folks aren’t going to such chains as a lot as they used to— and one of many causes is alarming to some medical consultants.
The variety of prescriptions crammed in August fell 4% in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months, in accordance with the most recent knowledge from funding financial institution Evercore ISI.
Health consultants and analysts say prescriptions have fallen as a result of elective procedures have been suspended within the early months of the pandemic. Elective procedures typically contain prescriptions earlier than or after surgical procedure.
Additionally, some folks have been visiting docs workplaces and well being clinics much less typically than typical within the pandemic for annual and routine checkups, say consultants.
“Volume to primary care practices has decreased,” mentioned Dr. Russell Phillips, director on the Center for Primary Care and a professor of medication at Harvard Medical School. This has meant fewer individuals are being identified or handled for well being circumstances and thus don’t must renew their medicines or fill new ones.
Health consultants say prescription lapses are worrisome for folks with persistent points similar to diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart illness and should have long run well being implications.
For somebody with hypertension or diabetes, “if you miss those medications and your blood pressure gets too high, it could lead to a heart attack or a stroke,” mentioned Denise Fu, medical packages supervisor on the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, a part of the Johns Hopkins Medicine community.
Fewer journeys to shops
It’s not simply the development of individuals filling fewer prescriptions that is hurting drug shops.
This has harm drug shops, which carry a smaller number of merchandise and are designed to be fill-in stops for patrons outdoors of their larger weekly hauls at grocery shops or warehouse golf equipment.
“You can’t do a full shop at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid,” mentioned Mickey Chadha, analyst at Moody’s.
That implies that drug shops have not achieved as nicely different kinds of retailers though gross sales have elevated. For the 31 weeks ending on October 3, gross sales at drug shops have inched up 2.5% from the identical stretch final 12 months, whereas they’ve elevated 19.9% at grocery shops, in accordance with Nielsen.
They are additionally making an attempt to grow to be bigger stops for patrons’ main care wants.